Pune: As the weather conditions improve, the National Disaster Relief Force is hoping that they can now expedite the rescue operations in Ambegaon village where a fatal landslide claimed the lives of 66 people. Over 120 people are still feared trapped in the debris. More than 40 houses have been swept away.
According to NDRF personnel, the biggest challenge that they are facing is the removal of the slush and mud due to which they are unable to deploy the state of the art equipment they have on hand. They are claiming that 30 per cent of the slush has been removed. They are also set to begin the canine search operations on Friday.
The rescue work has been hampered at Ambegaon village due to another landslide that took place on Thursday. Making a statement on the landslide in the House, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government will appoint a team of experts to study the area. As per experts, deforestation over the years has resulted in the soil giving way, leading to the disaster.
50 ambulances, 30 dumpers and 20 JCBs have been pressed into service for rescue and relief work while nine teams of NDRF comprising about 380 personnel were rushed to the spot, he said. In addition, 300 labourers were mobilised from Municipal Corporations of Junner and Alandi and the rescue teams are armed with flood lights and necessary equipment.
Singh, who visited the village on Thursday, announced an assistance of Rs two lakh to the relatives of the deceased from the PM Relief Fund. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan also announced a financial aid of Rs five lakh to the family of the victims from the CM Relief fund.
Free medical treatment will be given to the injured and proper rehabilitation of the village will be done on priority, the CM's office said.